Reached the driving school at 6:50 am, and ate my breakfast before going up to Level 5 for the test admin (reporting time 7 am)… woah, so many people there already, all geared up with knee and elbow pads.
I submit my PDL and IC, check the number tag I am assigned (No. 5) and put on the “test bib 5” and the rest of the safety gear … “hmm, good, will be 5th one to be tested” (the order goes like foreigners go first, and then the rest are by IC order, so that the older ones will go first … seems like I was the oldest Singaporean to take the test today, haha). Those who are ready are asked to go down to the test area and warm up and by 7:15, we are all doing our practises (50 of us in all!!).
I managed to do everything properly (no immediate failure stuff, like striking kerb, footing due to loss of balance, … ) and got to practise every obstacle at least 4 times and got used to the bike. At 8:20, we are gathered into the briefing room, and told to have a break until 8:40 … OK, so far so good (had a coffee here).
Around 8:45, one instructor gives a pep talk and reminder of what to watch out for (like where the testers will be stationed (10 in total, for both circuit and road), and how to avoid deductions for not checking blind spot etc), and then brings the class out to the circuit for a demo by another instructor on the proper riding techniques (for starting, figure of 8, crank and Emergency brake) … then, we go back to the room and wait a while, before being called to go out again to the circuit area and line up according to our number tags.
In ten rows of 5, our PDL and IC are returned (must go to tester and say aloud your name and NRIC for him to check), and then, TIME FOR ACTION! The first 10 or so of us put on our helmets and gloves and position our bikes to start the test … (about 9:30 now).
First rider is given the signal and proceeds … tester 1 observes him until the figure of 8 course before signalling the second person to start … (unfortunately, first chap is too slow going out of the course, and puts his foot down for balance, … IMMEDIATE FAILURE casualty number 1!) ..
Very soon, my turn comes … I am ok (I think) all the way until the plank; then DISASTER!!!!!!!! Just went onto the plank and then I find my front tyre is off it (GONE CASE!!!) … I just carry on, but SUPER XIAN3 already lor … (as you can imagine).. do the slalom, and went out onto the road … (Immediate failure casualty number 2).
Did ok for the rest of the course outside the driving school (EXCEPT in my own view, the coming back into the driving school upslope, where I went wide, and footed to regain balance, but seems no penalty there by tester No. 5 (there are 4 testers for the circuit, you see, and the 5th one is positioned to look at people coming out and in, of the driving school, rest of 6 to 10 at various road junctions) as nothing is recorded about this …
And the test is soon over for me (actually, earlier already over!)… returned the gear and retrieved my stuff in the locker, talked to the others about how they did in Level 5, and canteen, and at 11 am, back at the room, we “nervously” (excitedly?) wait for results (but of course for me, I know it is already gone case, sigh ……..).
The testers who returned our PDL and NRIC comes to the room and those whose numbers are called, … FAIL!!! (i.e. so, pray hard they don’t call out your number). Soon, my tester (No. 1, who assess the starting, slope, figure of 8) comes in, and called out, “1 and 5” … yup, no surprises here and so, good for 2, 3, 4 who passed today, and everyone else ..(congrats!!).
An instructor gave me some sympathy (16 points pass!! never mind, try again); the first guy, well he would have failed anyway (got 20 points) … went to book for the next test date (4 April) + Road Revision (they won’t allow you to book test date, unless you also book this first), claimed back my “assessment checklist” to keep as a “souvenir” …
Oh, btw, if you pass, they will ask you to go for the expressway familiarisation riding on the same day (in the afternoon, like 1 to 3; if not, got to book another slot by yourself, then can go and get your license) … seems also have to watch some safety video, and some briefing, before being released for the day (around ??? time, I don’t know, because I am home already typing this, hahaha).
If there is any plus point to not clearing the test today, it is that I can still go back to SSDC to practise as and when I like until 4 April… (had not intended to get a bike anyway for now; but still think it is a useful license to have!!). Must console yourself, right?